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Business trends

Japan's space industry gets some new life

Young venture companies promise new ideas and lower costs

Astroscale CEO Mitsunobu Okada, right, takes part in a press conference in March 2016.

SAPPORO/TOKYO -- Japan's space industry is set to take off in 2017, thanks to a growing number of private enterprises moving toward the launch pad.

The state-run Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, as well as heavy machinery makers Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and IHI have so far been key engines of Japan's aerospace industry.

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